Elizabeth: February 1586, 16-20

Pages 380-388

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 20, September 1585-May 1586. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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February 1586, 16–20

Feb. 16/26. Henry III to Elizabeth.
On behalf of Francois Henry, a merchant of Morlaix in Brittany who in December last loaded in the Bonaventure of Pannarch, Jehan d' Aenlas master, cloths, serges and other merchandises of great value, worth four thousand crowns. And making her voyage to St. Sebastian in Spain, when near the port and harbour called the Cabestane, near le Ras, in the parish of Plogoff, jurisdiction of “Keinper"- Corentin, he was, on the last day of December, boarded by an English ship of a hundred tons, the captain and crew of which, having taken all the merchandise, munition, victuals, arms &c. that were in her, released the barque itself, all broken and of no value.
By reason whereof the said Henry petitioned him to grant him letters of reprisal, to recompense himself for his loss, but before granting them, he wished to write this to her, praying her affectionately, in conformity with the good peace and amity between them, and their treaties of alliance, to let justice be done to the said Henry; seeing that otherwise he cannot refuse to give him the means for recovery of his loss, as he has desired the Sieur de Chasteauneuf, his ambassador, to put before her more fully on his behalf.—Paris, 26 February, 1586. Signed, Henry. Countersigned, Pinart.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ sheet. [France XV. 32.]
Feb. 16. Dr. Beutterich to Walsingham.
Your ambassadors have been long expected here vainly, who would have been able to do much for your realm of England as for the warming either of the climate of our region or the affection of those who the most prevail in it. It only remains that the Queen should effectuate what you promised to M. de Segur, and this without delay, quia periculam in mora.
In regard to the assembly of the Estates of the Empire at Worms, the fact is that the Estates, countries and towns, supporting themselves upon two reasons,—one, the Queen's enterprise in the Low Country; the other, the pretended monopoly of the English merchants—wish to bring matters to this point, that by public decree of the whole Empire, they should write letters to the Queen to desist from Holland &c.; to take away the monopolies of the English merchants and to put back trade into its former state; otherwise that all English traffic should be forbidden in the Empire, a very serious matter.
The plurality of voices agreed to this view, being composed of bishops, prelates and papistical princes; but the secular Electors and some other princes and Estates of the Empire were opposed to it; and it is not yet known what will be the issue of it.
This is hatched by the practices of Spaniards and of the adherents of the Bishop of Liege, pretended Elector of Cologne, and is of such consequence that great care must be taken in consequence; wherefore my lord [Casimir] has resolved to send Zolcher express to give you a sure account of it.
You will understand the rest by the letters which my lord is writing to you. I will only ask you to hasten the means for the succour of the King of Navarre; the only way in which to make head against all the designs which I have mentioned. And believe me that on our side we shall do more than you think, and I dare say that you will do so on yours, in what concerns France.
They wish me to go with the commissioners into France, where I know that I am not myself welcome. I would consent, if we had an escort of a thousand reiters.
My master has not been able to send the wines because the Rhine is frozen, but as soon as Zolcher returns, will send some good old ones; for those of this year have neither strength nor virtue; not either those of Germany, Burgundy or Artois. I recommend Zolcher's business very earnestly to you. He deserves it, for he is always willing and he takes pains.—Neuschloss, 16 February, 1586.
Add. Endd. “from Beutrick.” Fr.pp. [Germany, States IV. 14.]
Feb. 16. Elizabeth, Countess Palatine of the Rhine, to the Queen.
Praying for the fulfilment of a promise made to George Zolcher, the bearer, for the exportation of a thousand tons of English ale free of customs and other charges.—Heildelberg, 16 February, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 15.]
Feb. 17. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
The letters brought by the courier of Antwerp by way of Flanders were taken to Mr. Secretary, who has this morning given them to the Master of the Posts, to be delivered to the merchants. Finding that my packet has been opened and that the letters of which Signor Carlo advised me by way of Zeeland are missing, I am to believe that Mr. Secretary has kept them and carried them with him to Court. I pray your lordship to let me know how, in this case, I am to govern myself, in order not to incur his displeasure, and, should he send for me, what I am to reply if he demands of me why I have not acquainted him with my writing. My said letters should be under cover of Bartholomew Schorer.
As regards M. de Champagny, if he should have been led so far astray by passion as to say those things of which your lordship has been informed, I must say that he has lost much of his natural and accustomed way of proceeding, and I can hardly think that he would commit so great an error.
I humbly pray you to do me the favour not to give entire faith to such reports until we hear further particulars.—London 17 February, 1585.
Postscript.—If your lordship will please to give me leave, I will write to M. de Champagny a little of what I hear about his business here, that he may know certainly what has passed. God grant that this thing may rather have been invented here than that it happened at Antwerp, for it would be too absurd that such a personage should have behaved so badly. As there is one setting out this evening, I pray you not to be offended if I ask you to let me have a reply about writing to M. de Champagny, and whether you would wish me to come myself to Court by the bearer, my man, Bartholomew Scorer.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. 61.]
Feb. 17. Stafford to Walsingham.
Last night I received your packet sent by Flint, and was glad to see by the copies of letters from Scotland, “the good disposition of the King, both towards God and her Majesty,” which we have all cause to rejoice at. “In my poor opinion, all the good offices that we can do to encourage him to continue in that mind are not to be spared.” They are here in another hope, as you may see by my former letters.
“I see by that which I received in this packet from you that it is this proceeding of my lord of Leicester that Pinard meant, which I see they were advertised of afore me. I pray God inspire her Majesty to embrace that which shall be most for his glory . . . and for the good and surety of her estate; but I see that they here conceive that whatsoever her Majesty hath given out, it was resolved afore that my lord of Leicester should take this course. They judge others' actions by their own.”
If the French ambassador has carried money into Scotland, I do not think it is the King of Spain's money, or that there is such strict intelligence between these two Kings, though I watch for it as much as I can; howbeit, “to provide for the worst is the best course, and to suspect all naughtiness of them is a thing their former actions commandeth us to do.”
I have often written to you of a captain here, of whom Mazin wrote first to Palavicino. The more I talk with him, the more sufficient I think him. He desires to be employed at sea, demanding only a bark and a pinnace, and “assureth within five months to return and to bring home that [with] him for wealth as perchance never afore him any hath done.” He can do no harm, being alone and all the rest English.
I find by speech with Leitan, Don Antonio's secretary “that they be in some jealousy of him, though he will not plainly tell it me. I know not for what Don Antonio hath reason in some things to be jealous; he desireth not to know him. For my part I never saw any that I found likelier to do some good thing . . . and will, if I may be permitted, venture with him.” I beg to know your pleasure, for I have long entertained him here. I have written of him to my lord Admiral and to Sir Walter “Raley.”—Paris, 17 February, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XV. 33.]
Feb. 17/27. M. Rasse de Neux to Walsingham.
Although he fears to be troublesome with his letters, he would not have delayed sending the poems of a man whom his honour has always greatly esteemed, the writings in Latin verse of the late Chancellor de 1' Hospital, but that he wished to send with them some later things. He now despatches all together, and will be the most contented man in the world if he knows, as he has hitherto heard, that his honour takes in good part these trifles, unworthy for the most part of his regard, but which he shall not cease to send, in memory of his honour's kind reception and countenance when he was in that country.—Paris, 27 February, 1586.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 34.]
Feb. 17. Davison to Leicester.
Giving an account of his three audiences with the Queen, on Feb. 13, 14 and 15.—“At my poor house in London,” 17 February, 1585.
Minute, endd. “Minute to my lord of Leicester.” 5½ very closely written pages. [Holland VI. 121.]
Printed in Bruce's “Leycester Correspondence” (p. 117) from the letter send, not in the Cotton MSS.
Feb. 17. Duke Casimir to the Queen.
As the malice and boldness of the common enemies is becoming more and more apparent, to the great prejudice of the common cause, and especially of your royal dignity. I send this bearer express, to inform you of the plots which the adherents of the Pope are openly weaving against your kingdom, as you will hear more fully from Mr. Walsingham, and to pray you to put in execution the hope of aid which you have given to the King of Navarre, and the rather that, by your example, others will be fired, and will do their due part for the preservation of the oppressed. As, in fact, the Electors and other princes of the Empire professing the Religion have resolved to send ambassadors to France, not only to exhort the King to peace, but to encourage him to embrace it, to the contentment of his people, composed of two different religions. To which embassy it would lend great weight if your Majesty would at the same time either send one for the same purpose or charge your resident ambassador in France to urge the matter on your part and to hold good correspondence with our envoys. Above all, it will be of great service if you will fulfil the hope you have given, according to what I sent to you by the Sieur de Quitry, humbly praying you to believe that I shall ever heartily employ myself for the service of your Majesty and the safety of your kingdom.—Heidelberg, 17 February, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 16.]
Feb. 17. Duke Casimir to Walsingham.
The letter I have written to her Majesty refers partly to this one, in order that she may not be wearied by long reading. It was very requisite that the ambassador of whom you gave me hope should be here during the Diet which has been and still is held at Worms, where have been brought forward matters prejudicial to England, touching monopolies and infractions of privileges claimed by the maritime towns. Following upon which grievances and complaints, an ambassador of such quality as you are sending would have been able to serve as a counterpoise, to hold all in balance. I have prayed for this with all my power and shall continue to do so whenever occasion requires. I send this bearer express to tell you that the Electors and other Princes of the Empire of the Religion have resolved shortly to send an embassy to the [French] King, whom I think the Queen would do well to encourage either by one sent on purpose or by her ordinary ambassador there; and as they will hardly arrive at a peace there without arms, and you know the defects of the French Protestants, it is needful that the States interested should back them up and support them. Her Majesty knowing this better than any one, has given them hope of a sum of money, and I implore you to give a helping hand that this hope may be fulfilled, in accordance with what you have learned from the Sieur de Quitry, and I assure you that they will not be so cold in this climate as you tell me in your last letters. I pray you to enlighten me as soon as possible as to what we may hope from your side, and assure you that I am not asleep but am working as much as possible, and the rather that I see the enemy's game quite openly. I am informed both from Italy and from the papistical courts of Germany of the practices of the principal instrument of the Pope against England. The best means of breaking his blows is by re-establishing the churches of France, and this I beg your to represent to her Majesty on my behalf, as you will know well how to do.—Heidelberg, 17 February, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. IV. 17.]
Feb. 18/28. M. de Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
I find this house so inconvenient on account of its small size and ill smells (in consequence of which my daughter is extremely ill) that I cannot possibly remain in it. If my wife were not close upon her lying-in, I should leave it and go into a hostelry to-morrow. I beg you not to be vexed with me for importuning you so often; also that you will be good enough to show this to her Majesty, by which I humbly pray her to give me another house. That of the Countess of Pembroke is vacant, and has in it neither furniture nor household stuff, by which it is easy to see that she is not coming to lodge in it, and the bargain which she had made with the Earl of Huntingdon is broken. If her Majesty would do me the honour to order the least of her servants to go to the said lady, I believe she would give up her house the more readily. There are five or six others empty in the town, as those of the Bishop of Winchester, the late Earl of Bedford, Lord Rich and Madam Gresham (Gressam), but there are difficulties everywhere, which I believe would be smoothed if she would give orders in the matter.—London, the last of February, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XV. 35.]
Feb. 18. Leicester to Burghley.
I am pressed to be mean to her Majesty that the English merchants might trade hither with their cloths. They may have their choice of all the towns in Holland, and truly, I think “if you hold from licences and trading to Hamburg, and to cess the Stedes at a rate as you may think meet, you shall find no fitter places for our merchants in all the East parts, specially now that they be all afraid of the King of Spain; the Court of Embden being wholly his, upon my knowledge, and therefore let our merchants take heed.” Besides our cloth, we may likewise utter here our wools, and they will forsake both French and Spanish wools to deal with ours. Here are very apt places, Amsterdam, Enchuysen, Rotterdam, Dort, Middelburg in Zeeland; our merchants may choose which they think most meet, and with such favour and friendship as nowhere may they have so good conditions. If her Majesty shall like of it, and cause her merchants to repair thither, “they shall bring all others hither to seek them here, and from any of these places our cloths may be vented very well into all countries by water.” I hear the King of Denmark means to send shortly in the Stedes' behalf to her Majesty, wherefore, if you like of the motion, I beseech you to use the speed meet for her service. (fn. 1)
“I dare not lose time, albeit I am greatly discouraged. You shall understand that beside the first assignment of 200,000 florins the month, there is a new increase for the providing of the army forthwith, which shall yield 100,000 more monthly for these four next months; and now I have gotten a Chamber of Finances at their hands, which was hard stuck at awhile, but indeed the very best way to be sure of our money at their days. They have had my charge this long time, 30,000 footmen and 3,000 horse in pay, besides our English, and in my conscience, they have not the service of 15,000 in all.”
I have had a general muster made and to be paid from any charge over them, meaning to choose the best sort and to discharge the broken bands, but not the captains, “for that they shall be entertained by pensions.
“Of all the councillors here, I find Medkerk and Walcke the most sufficient men; and another old chancellor, I think your lordship knoweth him not, Leoninus, a very grave, wise old man. And God be thanked, all things goeth as well forward here as I can wish or desire.
“I know not how her Majesty doth mean to dispose of me. It hath grieved me more than I can express, that for faithful and good service her Majesty should so deeply conceive against me; but God doth know with what mind I have served her Highness, and perhaps some others might have failed of thus much doing for her good service, I must so still justify and yet her Majesty neither tied one jot by covenant or promise by me any way, nor at one groat the more charges, but myself two or three thousand pounds more than now is like to be well spent. How many ways her Majesty's assured service here hath been advanced it appears now every day a hundred parts more than if I had not presumed upon her favour as I did, to deal as I have done, and so will she find.
“Well, my lord, I trust my ill-fortune shall not cause her Majesty to surcease of her noble enterprise here, nor your lordship to leave of your true and faithful counsel for her best behoof. I will desire no partial speech in my favour; if my doings be ill for her Majesty and the realm, let me feel the smart of it. The cause is now well forward; let not her Majesty suffer it to quail. If you will have it proceed to good effect, send away Sir William Pelham with all the haste you can. I mean not to complain, but in so weighty a cause as this is, few men have been so weakly assisted. But her Majesty hath far better choice for my place, and with any that shall come, let Sir William Pelham be first. . . . I am for myself, upon an hour's warning, to obey her good pleasure.
“I have one here I take no small comfort in; that in little Ha. Killigrew. I assure you he is a notable servant, and more in him than ever I heretofore thought of him, though I always knew him to be an honest man and an able.”—Hague, 18 February.
Postscript.—“Your son had been now with me but he hath taken a little cold, and the frost is now great again here.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VI. 122.]
[Parts of this letter quoted by Motley (i. pp. 377, 378, 415).]
Feb. 19. Sir Thomas Cecil to Burghley.
I could not let this gentlemen pass without my dutiful remembrance to your by letter, but his haste and the slowness of matter at present “have suited my letters in few lines.” At this time I rather long to hear from your lordship than to write. I am expecting answers to three several packets, but “if I may hear well from your lordship I shall be satisfied, though I hear slowly.”
I am not settled in my government, and hope always to yield an honourable account of it. “I rest setting up the other moiety of my company of horses” until I hear from you about the levying of them, which I beg to do as soon as may be. Spring draws nigh, and the strength of my band will be some credit to me, if there be any occasion to go into the field.
I have been troubled “with an extreme cold that I could scarce speak.” It begins to wear away, but stays my going with my lord lieutenant towards Utrecht. If he leave before I dare venture abroad, I shall follow, to see that part of the country.—The Brill, 19 February, 1585, stylo Anglie.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VI. 123.]
Feb. 19. Leicester to Davision.
“I would I have had wings, to have been speedily with you and here again. You know the worst by this, and I would I might hear the best. There comes nothing yet but evil into these quarters from England to me, and yet the Lord God doth know and so do you how careful I have been to serve and please both prince and country. If your speed be good, then do I look for you with speed; if otherwise I fear me never. As it shall please God, so be it, both with you and me.
“The man you chiefly trusted and committed me unto hath most lewdly dealt with me, and yet do I not seem to know it, so good a quality is this country like to teach me for to dissemble.
“I may to write to you what an overslip [?] the Count Hollock made here. I was forces to break it out, or else perhaps I [should have] been played withal not after the best manner. . . . (fn. 2)
“I pray you if any grace be left for us, procure him that favour you know I have sued for, for him, for I doubt not now to have a good hand over him; he is marvellous humble and obedient to me. Your other friend never came to me since you took your leave, nor offereth any manner of advice or counsel, only he would and seeks to govern, all, and at last will come to nothing himself, and yet he is nobody but for himself I plainly see and find, for he doth what he can to bridle and cross me in all things; which I will bear till I shall hear what will become of me, and then perhaps I may use my authority a little for his sake. Say you nothing to Ortell &c. All things grow here quieter and quieter and all men more forward and more. I have got the Chamber of Finances spite of his nose, and he is got in prettily without my thinking.”—Hague, 19 February, 1585.
Postscript.—“Your friend, played the merchant with you, even when you trusted him best.”
Holograph. Seal with bear and ragged staff, in garter. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 124.]
Feb. 19. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I did not except to write to you again, but to my great vexation, it so falls out. I embarked on Tuesday evening as you saw by my letter from the ship, and shortly after my going on board the said ship, the Acate, we set sail with a light wind until Wednesday morning, when it left us in a great calm. We found ourselves near a ship of Dunkirk which accosted us without firing any cannon, but as if to discover who we were; which when she heard she saluted us with some eight or nine shots which we returned, and then turned round, and by the aid of many oars in that dead calm, moved away from us.
Towards night the wind went to the East, and increased with such violence that although we kept the sea all Thursday, and approached the coast of Flanders to within sight of Dunkirk and Newport, we could never keep it, nor amount any further up it, and thus were forces, yesterday morning, to take our way back to this place, where we arrived just before evening. Here I have heard that the Sieur Enicci [Heneage] is come to Margate in order to cross the sea, which I see to be quite contrary to what I hoped just before my departure. To-morrow, please God, I know see him in Margate. I thought you should know of my return, so that if you had anything to command me, you could do so, as I believe we shall be here till the full moon.—From the ship, in Gorinde, 19 February, 1585.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 18.]
On the dorso is written “At Margate, ten of the clock, Sunday morning, the 20th February.”
Feb. 20. Pietro Bizari to [Walsingham].
My long and faithful service to your honour, for about the space of fourteen years, since my last departure from England, gives me confidence in praying you humbly to bring me to her Majesty's remembrance, that at least some acknowledgment may be shown me for the many fatigues I have undergone for this crown. Which confidence is the greater from the kindness and courtesy you have deigned to show me by your most gracious letters; for which, and especially for your singular affection shown me in Paris, in the times of Sulla and Marius, I am infinitely indebted to you. From which there may fall out some good result in this my old age, subject to many and grave illnesses, which are as daily and sure messengers, that in this our mortal life, every inequality is levelled. I shall strive that I may never be esteemed unworthy, and much less found ungrateful for what comes by means of your honour.—London, 20 [February].
Endd. with date. Italian. 1 p. [Holland VI. 125.]


  • 1. Cf. letter to Walsingham, Leycester Correspondence, p. 126.
  • 2. The letter is here much damaged by damp.